Our Team

Rebecca Deegan

Founder / Director & general policy geek

I've worked in policy and public affairs for almost a decade, working on campaigns at the local, national and global-level across major policy challenges such as climate change and our ageing population. I set-up ‘I have a voice’ (IHAV) after reflecting on my own experience of leaving further education knowing nothing about politics and feeling unequipped to confidently articulate my views, especially if they were challenged.

I stumbled across a profession that showed me there are lots of parliamentary mechanisms that enable citizens to push for change. In a time where political discourse can be divisive, I want to show young people how they can use existing democratic processes to raise their voices in a way that promotes open-mindedness and compassion, and leads to effective action.

Charlotte Burchill

Regional Lead & aspiring policymaker

I am studying History and International Relations at Lancaster University and I am an Academic Representative for my Students Union, campaigning on behalf of students .

Since joining IHAV, I have been able to campaign about issues that really matter to me. As someone that suffers from a chronic illness, I was keen to improve awareness of disability rights and challenge current policies. As a result, I have met with the Minister for Disabled People to discuss improving opportunities for young disabled people seeking employment.

Since becoming an ambassador I have gained political awareness that I am keen to share with other politically active young people across the UK.

I am also captain of my University netball team which has allowed me to develop my leadership skills and show my competitive side!

Usman Ali

Consultant & passionate about challenging ethnic disparities

I am a proud British Pakistani with a wealth of experience in the Higher Education Sector (King's College London & Goldsmiths, University of London), and expert knowledge of not just how British politics operates but also that of Pakistani, Indian & American political systems.

My background has enabled me to understand the world through a variety of different perspectives, and this helps me to see how barriers to social, political & economic changes can be overcome.

I joined IHAV to support its growth because it is important that everyone's voices are heard by decision-makers.

In my spare time, I am a keen reader, writer, campaigner, walker and karak chai enthusiast

Ben Maher

Regional Lead & positive wellbeing champion

At IHAV, my role as regional lead allows me to be inspired by the incredible contributions of young people every day. Our national campaigns would not be possible without our youth ambassadors’ dedication and passion for social justice.

Whilst my favourite subject at A-level is Politics, as Head Boy my week involves supporting the student body and facilitating student voice - far more enjoyable than any academic subject!

Joining I have a voice was the perfect opportunity for me to expand my skills, all whilst meeting a community of young people equally passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion. And of course, positive mental health.

Abigail Wordsworth

Social Media Coordinator & anti-fast-fashion campaigner

I'm studying geography at Leeds University as I am passionate about improving the world through sustainability, social justice and equality for all.

I completed a week of work experience with I have a voice last year, which gave me the opportunity to act on my concerns about fast-fashion and set-up News to Resuse - a campaign to include fast fashion in the curriculum, educate others on the impact of fast fashion, and hold brands accountable for violating the human rights of workers.

I am excited to be working with the IHAV team as their social media coordinator, spreading the message of their work and encouraging others to use their voice!

Fatima Yusuf

Regional Lead & politics enthusiast

I'm a sixth form student and looking forward to studying politics and international relations at undergrad level.

I initially joined IHAV through work experience in year 11, which was where I joined News to Reuse and later Justice 4 you. I’ve always been fascinated by learning about political institutions and understanding how best to address disparities in both the education sector and also when looking at the environment.

My passion for improving political literacy in under-represented groups has also led me to join the I have a voice team.

When I’m not working or studying, I love to read and I also really enjoy creating content - I’ve recently started a YouTube channel giving both academic and general life advice!